I Kings 14, 15 and II Chronicles 12
From Abijah's Journal, New King of Judah
My father, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, grandson of King David reigned Judah for seventeen years. He assigned my living quarters in Jerusalem with him to give me the training necessary to reign in his place. Recently, my father died.
His passing troubled me, for although he prepared me to take over his throne, I still felt unprepared. In my heart, I knew what I had to do first. I wanted to reunite the kingdom as one Israel. I could only do this with God's help.
Jeroboam had reigned over Israel for eighteen years. He ripped the heart and soul of our people, pulling them away from worshipping God to praise evil false gods.
I rallied an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men to fight against Jeroboam. He drew up a battle line, commanding eight hundred thousand able troops. This did not frighten me. The Lord can win battles with only a few soldiers.
I brought my men to the top of Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim. We stood facing Jeroboam's army. His men needed another chance to leave their leader and join forces with throne God appointed for Israel. Jeroboam could join us as well, if he wanted.
I called out to Jeroboam's army with this message:
"Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! Don't you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? Yet your leader, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, an official of Solomon, son of David, rebelled against his master.
"Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam, my father, son of Solomon, when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them. And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the Lord, which is in the hands of David's descendants.
"You are indeed a vast army and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. But didn't you drive out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams may become a priest of what are not gods.
"As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord. They set out the bread on ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. Men of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed."
I gave them a few moments to consider my words. Stop by next time when I will have their decision to tell.
1. What happened to Rehoboam, king of Judah?
2. Who is Abijah?
3. What did Abijah want to do first?
4. Why did Abijah take his army to the mountain?
5. What did Abijah want to tell Jeroboam's army?
6. What do you think the Jeroboam's soldiers will decide to do?